11/21 - Ask an Expert Office Hours

Ask An Expert Office Hours

A new CLCC program!

These 1:1 sessions will provide you with the opportunity to meet in a confidential setting with land conservation practitioners and other professions for up to 50 minutes to discuss questions, concerns, and techniques to help you advance your land conservation goals.

November 21, 2016
deKoven House
27 Washington Street
Middletown, CT

*The November 7 session in New Fairfield has been cancelled.*

Scroll down for sign-up details, or contact chayden@ctconservation.org to RSVP or for
additional information.


Time: 10am – 3pm (Sign-in and light refreshments start at 9:30am)

Sessions: 50 MINUTE SESSIONS with an optional lunchtime brown bag group Q&A session

9:30 – 10am:    Check-in and light refreshments
10 – 10:50am:  Session 1
11 – 11:50am:  Session 2
12-12:50pm:    Lunch
1 – 1:50pm:      Session 3
2 – 2:50pm:      Session 4

Schedules with expert availability for each date can be downloaded at the bottom of the page.

Cost: CLCC members – free; Non-CLCC members - $35 (Payment at the door with cash or checks payable to CFPA/CLCC)

The following professionals will be participating:


Linda Francois: Partner, Cooper, Whitney & Francois
(Available 11/21, all sessions)

Put Brown: Retired Attorney
(Available 11/7 & 11/21, all sessions)

Attorneys Francois and Brown will be available to discuss a wide variety of legal issues related to land conservation transactions, conservation options, wills, trusts, estate tax planning, IRS compliance and more.

Land Management Professionals

Hunter Brawley: Owner and Manager, Brawley Consulting Group
(Available 11/7, sessions 3 & 4)

Maribeth Chassey: Conservation Easement Manager, Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust
(Available 11/7, sessions 1 & 2)  (Focus of expertise: landowner outreach, conservation easement monitoring and enforcement)

Lindsay Suhr: Land Conservation Director, Connecticut Forest & Park Association
(Available 11/21, sessions 3 & 4)

Harry White: Conservation Director, Cornwall Conservation Trust, Salisbury Association Land Trust, Sharon Land Trust
(Available 11/21, sessions 1 & 2)

Land Management Professionals will be available to discuss a variety of topics related to stewardship and land management including development of management plans, baseline documentation reports, monitoring, and record keeping. 


Sarah Shrewsbury: Principal, Vineyard Consulting
(Available 11/21, sessions 1 & 2)

Alicia Sullivan: State Director, Trust for Public Land
(Available 11/21, sessions 3 & 4)

Chuck Toal: Board Member, Colchester Land Trust
(Available 11/7, all sessions)

Our experts will be available at both locations to provide assistance if you are contemplating a capital campaign, need advice on annual appeals, want to learn more about grant opportunities (including DEEP's OSWA program), raising match funds, or have other fundraising questions. 

Investment and Financial Manager

Drew Iacovazzi: Vice President, U.S. Trust
(Available 11/7 & 11/21, all sessions)

Whether your goal is to create a planned giving campaign, learn more about how to legacy gift options, or broaden your organization’s investment strategies, this experienced financial planner will be available to answer your questions.

Deal Doctors

Tim Abbott: Director, Litchfield Hills Greenprint Collaborative
(Available 11/21, all sessions)

Paul Elconin (Farmland Deals): Conservation Director, Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust
(Available 11/7, sessions 3 & 4)

Elisabeth Moore (Farmland Deals): Executive Director, Connecticut Farmland Trust
(Available 11/21, sessions 2, 3, & 4)

Alicia Sullivan: State Director, Trust for Public Land
(Available 11/7, all sessions)

Does your organization have some conservation projects in the queue or are you a landowner thinking of conserving your land and need some insight into the process? Our experts will help you to dissect your proposed land conservation project and answer questions regarding diagnosing the opportunity; evaluating the conservation options; cutting the deal; structuring the project; due diligence for a good outcome; wrapping up funding and making it through closing.

Accreditation, S&Ps, and Best Practices for Land Trusts (Only offered on November 7)

Connie Manes:  Director, Litchfield Hills Greenprint Collaborative; Accreditation Circuit Rider, Land Trust Alliance
(Available 11/7, all sessions)

Thinking about or preparing for accreditation? Already accredited and thinking about renewal? Wondering how the S&Ps revisions might change best practices and policies? Wondering how to interpret the latest guidance from the Alliance? Have questions generally about governance, financial matters, regulatory compliance or acquisitions and stewardship procedures? Connie Manes will be on hand to answer these and other questions you may have regarding topics that are essential to your land trust’s long-term viability.

Signing up for an Ask an Expert Session

When signing up for session(s) please keep the following in mind:

  • The agenda for discussion with the professional is yours.
  • This is not a group workshop (although you are welcome to join us at lunchtime for a brown-bag networking session).
  • You may sign up for multiple sessions at both locations.
  • In order to sign up for session(s), you must email Cristina Hayden at chayden@ctconservation.org.
  • You will need to identify your preferred location, topic, and session time. Sessions will be filled on a first call, first registered basis.
  • An email will be sent to confirm your registration status.
  • If you would like to speak with the professional again at a later date, please discuss this issue with the professional directly. Any arrangement you make with the professional is made at your discretion. Any future fees that may result from your interaction with the professional are your responsibility and will not be paid by CLCC.
  • If after making a reservation you find that you must cancel your appointment(s), please email Cristina Hayden at chayden@ctconservation.org as soon as possible so that someone else can use your allotted time.
  • When you email to make a reservation, please provide a short overview of the purpose for your visit, including specific questions or issues so that the professional will be prepared for your meeting.

Expert Bios

Tim Abbott - Tim Abbott serves as director of the Litchfield Hills Greenprint Collaborative, a partnership of 22 local and regional conservation organizations in northwest CT sponsored by the Housatonic Valley Association. He is a steering committee member of the Connecticut Land Conservation Council and serves on the CT Forest Stewardship Committee, the CT State Committee of the Highlands Coalition, and the Land Protection Committee of  Connecticut Forest & Park Association. He is past director of the Nature Conservancy’s Berkshire Taconic Landscape Program and worked for The Trust for Public Land during the startup phase of the Litchfield Hills Greenprint. Tim holds a MA in International Development from Clark University, a BA in English from Haverford College, and was a J. William Fulbright Scholar in Namibia. He lives in North Canaan, CT.

Hunter Brawley - Hunter Brawley has a Master’s Degree in Botany from Connecticut College and has worked in the environmental field for almost 20 years. His consulting firm provides land conservation and management services to land trusts and other non-profit organizations. Following Graduate School Mr. Brawley was an Environmental Analyst at Land Tech Consultants in Southbury and then the first Research Coordinator at the Bent of the River Audubon Center (BOTR). While at BOTR, he conducted bird surveys, produced checklists of birds, butterflies and mammals, and wrote several Important Bird Area (IBA) plans. In 2000 Mr. Brawley became the first Executive Director of the Pomperaug River Watershed Coalition (PRWC) before relocating to the Northwest Hills where he formed the Brawley Consulting Group in 2009. Mr. Brawley is currently the Land Manager for Naromi Land Trust in Sherman and has written several hundred Baseline Documentation Reports (BDRs) and management plans for land trusts throughout the northeast including Open Space Institute, Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the 945-acre Southbury Training School property in Southbury, Connecticut. He is currently serving as a stewardship circuit rider for the New London County Land Trust Advancement Initiative working with the CLCC. For more information, visit his website at www.brawleycg.com.  

Daniel "Put" Brown - Put Brown is a graduate of Yale Law School, practiced law at Shipman & Goodwin LLP for 40 years, was a Probate Judge and then a Probate Magistrate and now is retired. He has been a member of the Granby Land Trust since its founding in 1972, has been on its Board for many of those years, has served as its President and has been involved in most of its land acquisition transactions. He also served as Chairman of the McLean Game Refuge, as Vice Chairman of the Connecticut Chapter of The Nature Conservancy and as Chairman of TNC’s Land Acquisition Committee.

Maribeth Chassey - Maribeth Chassey is the Conservation Easement Manager at Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust.  Her primary responsibilities include managing all aspects of Weantinoge’s conservation easements and creating, maintaining, and organizing all GIS files and records for the organization. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut with a BS in Natural Resource Management where she concentrated in wildlife management and conservation and of Sacred Heart University with a MS in Environmental Science and Management. Prior to joining Weantinoge, Maribeth worked for the Connecticut Agricultural Experimental Station and the Highstead Foundation assisting with several research projects including the survival and movement of rehabilitated white-tailed deer fawns in Connecticut, serum antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi, Anaplasma phagocytophilium, and Babesia microti in re-captured white-footed mice, and a long term deer exclosure study identifying the impacts of overabundant deer populations on Connecticut’s forests. She has also worked as a consultant providing land conservation and management services to local land trusts and conservation organizations.

Paul Elconin - Paul Elconin is the Director of Land Conservation at Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust.  Paul has a BS in Environmental Biology from Yale University and a MS in Forest Resources Management from the State University of New York-College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF). While at ESF, Paul researched landowner motivations for granting and satisfaction with their conservation easements, and his findings were published and distributed to land trusts nationwide. Paul has spent much of his professional career working in land conservation. He was a wildlife ecology field technician on wolf and grizzly bear projects for government agencies and taught environmental education in Minnesota and California. Prior to joining Weantinoge in 2014, Paul was the Stewardship Coordinator at the Open Space Institute for 13 years, the “Circuit Rider” for the Land Trust Alliance of New York, and a consultant to land trusts in New York State. 

Linda Francois - Linda P. Francois is a New Haven attorney whose real estate practice includes a focus on natural and working lands preservation. She represents landowners, land trusts and municipalities in land protection transactions, conservation restriction (easement) donations, bargain sales and purchases, and open space initiatives throughout Connecticut. In 2014 she received the Working Lands Alliance Special Recognition Award for her work as editor of the Connecticut Model Open Space Conservation Easement. She was also editor of the 2014 Connecticut Model Agricultural Conservation Restriction. Ms. Francois is the 2008 recipient of the Working Lands Alliance Farmland Preservation Pathfinder Award. She is president of the Bethany Land Trust, Inc., and a member of the DEEP Natural Heritage, Open Space and Watershed Grant Advisory Council and West Rock Ridge State Park Advisory Council. 

Drew Iacovazzi - Drew joined U.S. Trust in 2016 as the new Vice President, Private Client Associate. He previously worked at Lindberg & Ripple in the wealth transfer and estate planning division where he assisted individuals and families in the process of building, protecting and preserving wealth. Outside of the office, Drew enjoys spending time with his wife Jackie, fly fishing, skiing, and trail running.

Connie Manes - Based in Kent, Connie provides organizational assessment, strategic planning, and policy development services to nonprofit conservation organizations throughout the northeast, with a specific focus on Land Trust Standards & Practices and land trust accreditation. Since 2013 she has served as a Land Trust Alliance Circuit Rider providing direct assistance to all-volunteer land trusts. Connie is the part-time Executive Director of the Kent Land Trust, an accredited land trust, and the Manager of the Litchfield Hills Greenprint Collaborative, a Regional Conservation Partnership of 24 land trusts in northwest Connecticut. Connie is a Steering Committee member of the Connecticut Land Conservation Council, and chairs its Training and Education Subcommittee. She was recently named to the 14-member Standards Advisory Team providing support in the 2016-2017 initiative to revise Land Trust Standards & Practices, and serves on the Editorial Board of the Land Trust Alliance’s Saving Land magazine. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Pace University and a Juris Doctorate from New York University School of Law. Connie chairs Kent’s Conservation Commission and serves on the board of the Village Center for the Arts as its Secretary. In her remaining free time she can be found at the hockey rink with her three young sons, running or hiking, or searching for critters in local streams.

Elisabeth Moore - Elisabeth Moore is the Executive Director & Director of Conservation for the Connecticut Farmland Trust. Elisabeth has more than twenty years of experience working with landowners, towns, and community groups to preserve farmland and significant natural and community resources. Since joining the Trust in 2004, she has preserved 24 family farms, totaling 1,900+ acres. Prior to coming to the Trust, Elisabeth was a project manager with the Trust for Public Land’s Connecticut Field Office and worked to preserve family farms in the Catskills of New York as part of the City of New York’s landmark $50 million watershed protection program

Sarah Shrewsbury - Sarah Shrewsbury started Vineyard Consulting to help nonprofits start or enhance their major gift fundraising programs. Sarah applies her two plus decades of experience as a major gift officer for organizations like Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and The Nature Conservancy of CT to help your organization identify, cultivate, solicit and close major gift donors. Sarah is a former board member of Guilford Land Conservation Trust and currently serves on their Advisory Committee.

Lindsay Suhr - After graduating from Connecticut College with a degree in Environmental Science, Lindsay Suhr worked for the Iowa Conservation Corps where she focused on timber stand improvements and prescribed burning. She then moved back to Connecticut and worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, conducting research in a threatened and endangered bird colony on Faulkner Island in Guilford. She also worked as the Land Stewardship Manager for the Greenwich Land Trust, focused on land acquisitions, meadow restorations, and invasive species removal. Lindsay loves the outdoors and enjoys playing basketball, running, and spending time with her family.

Alicia Sullivan - Alicia Sullivan, Connecticut State Director of The Trust for Public Land, is a Connecticut native who lives in Madison and oversees the conservation and park creation programs for the state. She joined The Trust for Public Land in September of 1998 as a Project Manager and also held the title of Philanthropy Manager prior to becoming State Director. Before joining The Trust for Public Land, Alicia worked for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and as a volunteer Attorney for the Connecticut Fund for the Environment. She graduated from the University of Vermont, then Pace University School of Law with a J.D. and Certificate in Environmental Law.

Chuck Toal - Chuck Toal is a founding board member of the Colchester Land Trust. Chuck has served as Vice President for two terms as well as past chair of the Community Outreach committee, member of the Funding Committee, member of the Landowner Contact committee and current chair of the Accreditation committee. He has successfully negotiated with land owners, written numerous grants, worked with high school students and scouts on projects and assisted in the road race and other community events. Chuck is chairing the CLT 8th annual on line auction, Fine Art of Living, for the first time in 2015. Chuck resides in Noank, CT since 2014 and works for Wigwam Mills, Inc. as National Sales Manager since 1995.

Harry White - Harry White is a Yale-trained ecologist and serves as Conservation Director for three land trusts in Northwest Connecticut and works for Northeast Wilderness Trust across northern New England. He has been professionally engaged in land trust operations, stewardship, habitat restoration, acquisitions, and GIS for over 18 years. Equipped with a deep understanding of the stewardship and scientific challenges that face land trusts, he has been exploring innovative methods to improve land management and science work in the conservation community. He is a pioneer in the successful deployment of UAVs in the science, stewardship, and management of land trust lands in the Northeast on preserves of up to 10,000 acres. White is an experienced UAV builder and operator and is currently involved in the integration of UAV-derived datasets into geographic information systems.